Dejected Kolkata fans conduct 'funeral' of Indian

Published: Sunday, February 16, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata: 'Ram naam satya hain'... chanted the pall bearers carrying a makeshift cot with the 'dead Indian cricket team members' lying on it. The team, considered 'dead' after the humiliating nine-wicket defeat against Australia, was carried in a funeral procession by a local club. Complete with wreaths, flowers, sprinkling of Ganga water and 'khoi' (parched rice) and other rituals observed in a last journey, the mock funeral ceremony took place in front of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) office at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. The cot with pictures of the World Cup squad members was then put to flames.

The 'Youth Forum' youngsters also set on fire a poster bearing photographs of India skipper and local hero Saurav Ganguly and his deputy Rahul Dravid. During the procession that started from the Kolkata maidan (ground), the disappointed fans raised slogans and held posters slamming the team, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the sponsors.

Curious onlookers, who joined the procession, too lambasted the team members, for 'showing more interest in endorsing products than in cricketing matters'. The media also came under flak for 'unnecessarily creating hype and deifying the players'.

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